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Cover Story

The Movie Scene in Kenya

Volume 16, Issue 3 | Published 03/03/2020  
By Manu Savani The Beginning of Mohanlal Kala Savani’s Business Journey The growth of the Indian film business in the history of East Africa is also a chapter in the history of the Savani family in East Africa. When the late Mohanlal Kala Savani (commonly known as ‘Samji Kala’, based…

Reel Pleasures

Volume 16, Issue 3 | Published 03/03/2020  
By Laura Fair Films and movie-going are the central focus of this book ‘For generations, going to the movies was the most popular form of leisure in cities across Tanzania. On Sundays in particular, thousands of people filled the streets from late afternoon until well past midnight, coming and going…

Films And Music In My Life, Then And Now ……

Volume 16, Issue 3 | Published 03/03/2020  
By Valli Jamal The Drive-In was the place to be on a Sunday evening when Indian movies were shown. Teenage boys and girls, parents, even grandparents would do the pre-film ritual walk around the City Square in their best linens and silks. The 1% would show off their Mercs and…
By Brigitte Reinwald This article deals with cinematographic history in Zanzibar from its beginnings in the late 1910s; and looks at evolving programme patterns and changing audience preference trends during the colonial period and the initial transition years to post-colonial rule. Cinema-going developed during the course of the 20th century…

Cinema Halls In Mombasa In The Mid And Late 20th Century

Volume 16, Issue 3 | Published 03/03/2020  
By Anjum Asodia MY PERSONAL STORY I joined Coastweek, at its inception in 1978 as a typesetter. Desktop publishing was unheard of then, so I would type all the stories, captions and headlines on a typesetting machine (very noisy with just one small line as the visual screen) on photographic…

South Asian Films in Kenya: A Major Cultural Influence

Volume 16, Issue 3 | Published 03/03/2020  
By Kul Bhushan who reviewed them from 1967 to 1980 and interviewed most stars and playback singers who visited Kenya during this period. Bollywood movies are an essential and an emotional link of overseas Indians with their motherland. These films influence their thinking, behaviour, fashion and lifestyle. In fact, they…

Indian Cinema In Mid-1940s Nairobi

Volume 16, Issue 3 | Published 03/03/2020  
By Neera Kapur-Dromson The age of cinema arrived – even in Nairobi – all the way from Bombay (Mumbai), which had not yet gained the famed status of Bollywood. It seemed like love at first sight. First came the silent English films. Then the long, melodramatic Indian motion pictures with…

The Romance Of The Regal

Volume 16, Issue 3 | Published 03/03/2020  
By Ameer Janmohamed 1931 was an eventful year in the history of the Janmohamed Hasham family with my birth in Kisumu, on the shores of Lake Victoria, on 6 June, and the death of my grandfather, Janmohamed Hasham, in Mombasat twelve days later, on 18 June. The other important event…

A Nostalgic Look at Naaz Cinema

Volume 16, Issue 3 | Published 03/03/2020  
Naaz ki Kahaani Meri Zubani. (The story of Naaz and my testimony) By Ramzan Allan Up till the time that the Naaz Cinema finally rose up at this site in the early fifties, Messrs Samji Kala and their company Majestic Theatres ruled the roost. Other than the Regal Cinema which…

Bollywood Films in Kenya

Volume 16, Issue 3 | Published 03/03/2020  
By Mohinder Dhillon In 1945, two years before I emigrated to Kenya I watched a silent film in India. The projectionist screened the film on a hand-wound projector. This would not be possible with a film with sound which must run 25 FPS (frames per-second) to avoid any distortion of…

Reviving Zanzibar's Oldest Theatre

Volume 16, Issue 3 | Published 03/03/2020  
By Billie Odidi The once imperial building in the historic Stone Town of Zanzibar now stands dilapidated. It is a pale shadow of its once thriving stature as one of Africa’s first cinema halls. Unlike the busier times when it still screened, the Majestic is shorn of its grandeur; the…